Australian Republic Constitution
Australian Flag News Get Involved! Events Resources
Main Menu
ACM Home
About ACM
ACM News
Anthems
Afghan Court Martial
Book Reviews
The Commonwealth
Contact ACM
Convenor's Column
Constitutional Monarchies and Republics Compared
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Cost of Republicanism to the Taxpayer
Crowned Republic
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Event News
Federalism and the Mining Tax
Fiji
Flag: Keep The Flag
Governor of New South Wales
Head of State
Keating-Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
Knights & Dames
Latest News and Opinions
Links
Mate for a Head of State
Media and monarchy
Nile Inquiry
Opinion Polling
Orthodoxy and Monarchy
People's Republic?
Plebiscites
Prince Andrew
Prince Charles
Prince Harry
Prince Philip
Prince William & Catherine
Prince William In Australia
Prince William: The Early Years
Racist Republic?
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Resources
Return the Governor
Royal Commissions
Royal Finances
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
The Succession
2020 Summit
Join our Mailing List
See our selection of videos from across the world:-
ACM Videos
AussieCrownTV - ACM's own TV channel:
Aussie Crown TV
Follow ACM on Facebook:
Facebook
Self Funded Monarchy
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Finances
Royal Finances
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Head of State
Prince Philip
Prince Philip
Special Caribbean Report: Crown & Commonwealth

      Crown

The Commonwealth
The Commonwealth
Prince Harry
Prince Harry
Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew
Knights & Dames
Knights & Dames
The King's Speech: read the book, see the film.

The King's Speech

Watch the 2010 Neville Bonner Oration: Tony Abbott.
Tony Abbott
Nile Inquiry
Royal Commissions
Royal Commissions
Opinion Polls

 

Plebiscites
Plebiscites
2020 Summit
2020 Summit
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Afghan Court Martial
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Mate for a Head of State
Mate for a Head of State
Racist Republic?
Racist Republic
A People's Republic?
A People's republic?
Keating Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
The Keating Turnbull Republic
Crowned Republic
Crowned Republic
Polls
Republicans' Best Asset?
Is David Flint ( National Convenor since 1998) the republicans best asset, as some claim?
ACM Home arrow Opinion Polling

Opinion Polling
 

An opinion poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample.

The sample and questions are designed to indicate the opinion of a larger group, for example the nation.
 
 Some general comments on opinion polling and opinion polling in relation to constitutional change follow these initial comments.  

In a nation obsessed at the political and media level in polling, it is worth at this point introducing some cynicism about polling.

The nation’s eminent psephologist, Malcolm Mackerras, once read out a definition handed to him by an ACM supporter.

It went something like this: “An opinion poll consists of the answers of those willing to respond to uninvited questions put without notice on matters on which the respondents have not had the time to consider.”



...from intial polling to the actual vote...



Before we come to our conclusions on polling on a politicians' republic, we should bear in mind that polls taken before a debate on a referendum proposal will normally record  significantly support than during the referndum.

The trend line indicates that support for a vague undefined republic  is at the time of writing,  as a percentage, only in the low forties.

Because the people will have the opportunity to hear both sides, it is likely to fall even further at the actual vote.

This happened in 1999 even with a highly biassed mainline media and a wealthy Yes campign supported by twothirds of the politicians.


This will be exacerbated by the precise question which must introduce a model. Many hitherto Yes voters opposing the model chosen will then prefer the constiutional monarchy.  

This is the reason why republicans prefer an intial plebiscite or plebiscites. They are even divided on the number of plebiscites.



...15 Conclusions...



At the present time polling and other evidence suggests fifteen  conclusions:

1.  Since the 1999 republic referendum, there has been a long term decline in support for a vague undefined ( politicians’) republic. Polling from just before the federal election in 2013 indicates that overall support for such a republic ranges between 33%  to  40%   

2.  From before the referendum, polling has indicated that the middle aged are the most supportive of a vague undefined republic, with lower support among the young and until recently even lower support  among the aged. This can be represented by a slightly lopsided bell curve.

3. From 2013, the young have turned more against a vague undefined republic and in most polls are less supportive than even the elderly.

4. Support for a vague undefined republic is strongest among inner city voters, especially middle aged males and supporters of the Greens.

5. Once a republican  model is announced as the preferred republic, the Condorcet principle espoused by psephologist  Malcolm Mackerras applies and  support for a republic will fall. In other words, a significant number of republicans will always prefer the constitutional monarchy over the opposing model. Accordingly the ARM  has since 1999 been in the paradoxical situation of refusing to reveal what sort of republic it is actually campaigning for.

6. Interest in republican change is generally weak and declining.  According to the July 2014 Newspoll, strong supporters of change fell from 25% in 2011 to 22%. Among the young, strong supporters were down from 20% to 17%. The contrasting experiences of ACM and the ARM in calling  public demonstrations leads us to conclude that many more monarchists are strong supporters of their cause than are republicans.

6. The latest poll on the republican model which provides that  the people rather than the politicians elect the president - the ''direct elect model''- indicates no greater support than for the 1999 alternative. But when  asked how the president should be chosen if Australia were to become a republic,  respondents indicate a very strong preference for direct election. In the 2014 Newspoll, the young were, at 87%, the most supportive of direct election. At the same time they were least supportive of change to any republic. Australians seem to be saying: ''We don't want a republic, but if one is forced on us, we- and not the politicians - will choose the president''.

7.  As with any other polling, a "rogue" poll will from sometimes go against the trend. But the trend lines across the polls and over time indicate declining support for a vague undefined ( politicians’) republic.

8.  From this data we conclude that another referendum on the 1999 model would be overwhelmingly defeated and that a referendum on a model involving the direct election of a President would also be defeated ( republican Professor Craven says the defeat of the latter would be greater than in 1999);

9. A referendum delaying change until the end the reign has been proposed by former prime minister Bob Hawke. No significant group has adopted this.  

10.  ACM has always been opposed to what it calls the ''blank cheque plebiscite''. We  believe that if a plebiscite were to be held, the question would be manipulated by taxpayer funded ''spin doctors''. We warn there is likely to be substantial taxpayer funding  for “education” and “information”, probably little or no public funding for the No case,  possibly no Yes/No booklet, and with strong support from about two thirds of the politicians and  from the mainstream media. 

11. Experience indicates that in a referendum campaign, support for the affirmative case falls significantly  between the announcement of a proposal and the actual vote. This is because the voters have then had some opportunity of hearing both sides of the debate and reading the Yes/No booklet.

12. In a referendum campaign, those who in opinion polls say they are undecided  tend to move to the No case or  have not revealed their intention to vote No. In a republican referendum, this  could be  because the republican camp including media outlets has suggested the monarchist case is old fashioned, dated, etc or respondents fear that there may be consequences for those who are known to have voted No.

13. Polls taken now indicating opinions at some future date, say, the end of the reign, are clearly unreliable.

14. Much has been made by republicans about the role of the then prime minister John Howard in 1999. It is untrue that he fixed the convention or the question. His opposition -which was unusual- no doubt encouraged his supporters, but they were unlikely to be republicans.  On the other hand it may be that the support of an unpopular Prime Minister and/or government  may harm the Yes case. This was said to be one of the reasons why Paul Keating chose not to put a referendum on a republic.  Even if the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were to support the Yes case in a referendum, this will not ensure success, as was demonstrated inone of the referendums in  1967. But if  the Parliament  unanimously supported the referendum, there would be no official No case, which would disadvantage opponents.

15. The theme of any referendum on a republic will probably be around the proposition that only a politicians’ republic can deliver an Australian Head of State. This was mentioned nine times in the official No case in 1999. To counter this, constitutional monarchists will need to be as well informed on the relevant law and practice and as organised and as disciplined as they were in 1999.




...general comments on polling...

  


Opinion polls do not claim absolute accuracy and will usually indicate a margin of error. They are not predictions as to the future but an attempt to measure opinion at the time of the poll. This applies to views about what may or may not happen at the end of the reign. These are views held now, not one swhich will emerge at the end of the reign.

There can be errors or a bias in taking the sample. For example a telephone survey excludes those who do not have landlines. Some people will be reluctant to answer, or may give an answer they think the questioner wants.

By looking at trends from different polls taken over time, differences can be neutralised.



...the right question?..




Opinion polls can be biased in formulating questions. This
can be unintentional.

The question may vary considerably from the referendum question. A referendum necessarily involves agreeing to a specific republican model. But some  polls purporting to measure voting attitudes in the 1999 referendum ignored this and tested support for some vague undefined republic.

But in questions concerning constitutional change certain words can mislead.

For example, there is a debate between republicans and constitutional monarchists over the meaning of Head of State, and the question to be answered in the referendum may not even use that word.

 “ Do you think an Australian should be Head of State instead of The Queen ?” assumes we do not already have an Australian Head of State, which is a principal point in issue in the debate.

This is important. In the 1999 referendum, the Yes case used the argument that only in a republic could we have an Australian as Head of State nine times, more than any other.

Even asking whether Australia should become a republic assumes we are not already a republic, albeit a crowned republic


...have they heard both sides? ...



When referendums are announced, it is common to find polling indicates strong public support. But this can change after the public has heard both sides.This was exacerbated in the nineties because the mainstream media supported the republican movement. At the same time the media thrives on conflict and even a biassed media is forced to allow the other side to be heard at least partially.

In the early stages of the campaign in the nineties the public had not really heard both sides of the debate.  They had heard more by the time of the referendum. 





...polling trends...



Isolated polls should be treated with caution. The trend in polling from different pollsters over time is a better indicator. It is particularly unwise to rely on one poll which goes against the trend. 

In 2009 the republicans released a poll to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the referendum. This indicated that 59% support for “a republic.”  This went against all the trends and was what may best be called a “rogue poll”, which, we hasten to add,  suggests no impropriety.



...pollsters...



In Australia the best known pollsters are:
 

  • Newspoll - published in News Limited's The Australian newspaper
  • Roy Morgan Research - published in the Crikey email reporting service
  • Galaxy Polling - published in News Limited's tabloid papers
  • AC Nielsen Polling - published in Fairfax newspapers

Although less well known,  UMR has also conducted polls on this issue. Its polls have always found substantially more republican support than any of the others.

Essential media is a new pollster more associated with the unions, without this resulting in any bias.Its political polling produces results broadly in line with the other polllsters. 



Signs of desperation: broken hearts and improbable poll, Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 07 November 2009

To commemorate their landslide loss in 1999, the republican movement demonstrated just how desperate they are. Support for some vague politicians' republic has long been fluctuating  around 45%, and lower among the nation's youth. On Affirmation Day, 6 November, the republicans claimed they  had access to some poll which showed this had suddenly jumped by fourteeen points to a highly improbable 59%.

And then they wheeled out the tired and claim that Australia’s heart was broken when their proposal was rejected overwhelmingly by the Australian people.

This is no more than a futile attempt to force the Leader of the Opposition and one time republican leader Malcolm Turnbull into reviving their republican push. He won’t. He regrets the way he conceded defeat in 1999. He said then that if the Prime Minister John Howard was remembered for anything, it would be as the man who broke the heart of the nation.

Looking across Bondi Beach on the following day, a  Sunday, all I could see was a nation at play, happy in itself and comfortable in our Commonwealth. The only tears shed the night before came from a handful of celebrities, and perhaps from Mr. Turnbull who was subsequently revealed as overwhelmingly the principal benefactor of the republican movement.

Image
[ Hearts unbroken ]


Mr. Turnbull is realistic about a republic. Not in this reign, he says, and not until there is a consensus about the model among republicans, and not unless opposition is minimal. I have assured him on behalf of ACM that the opposition will be at least as big as in 1999.

In any event he told Sky News (6/11) that he now agrees with Mr. Howard - in many ways Australia is already a republic.

But instead of doing what they ought to do – telling the people precisely what change to the constitution and the flag they are proposing, the republicans went on 6 November, 2009 to Parliament House, leaving baskets of wattle on the veranda and delivering pleading letters to the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Australian Greens.

Then they referred to an as yet unseen poll which claims that support for an Australian republic now stands at 59%, up from the polling company’s on line poll in May which registered 51%.



...freak poll....



But the poll is not on their site, nor on the polling company’s site.

This poll goes completely against all of the trends, which across the board show substantially declining support for a politicians’ republic.  It is clearly an aberration.

 All polls should of course be treated with caution.

After all on the same day in October The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian released polls showing who was most popular to lead the Federal Liberal Party, Malcolm Turnbull or Joe Hockey. One said Hockey, one said Turnbull. Only one could have been right.

For the first time since the 2007 election, The Australian’s November Newspoll showed Labor and the Coalition attracting equal support. Then The Sydney Morning Herald’s Herald/Neilson poll on 9 November showed Labor leading by 7 points. On the same day, on the  government’s handling of border protection, Herald/Nielson found voters equally divided, Newspoll found they disapproved 53% to 31%.  

Polls can be useful to indicate trends. Seizing on a single poll which is significantly different from a trend is a sign of desperation.  And it is misleading.



...reservations on earlier polling.... 




 My reservations about this year’s May poll by UMR were threefold.

First the survey was conducted on line. They clearly try to find a fair sample, but I suspect that online and telephone polling is not as good as face to face polling. Most pollsters do telephone polling, Morgan uses face to face.  The use of online polling produces a higher republican vote than other polls such as Morgan and Newspoll. The difference seems to be about 5 or 6 %. (The November poll shows a difference of about 13 or14%.) 

My second reservation is that the question is far too vague and has little utility in indicating how people would vote in a  referendum. For the record the question was: “Do you support or oppose Australia becoming a republic? “        

Even the word republic is ambiguous.  Leaders as diverse as Justice Michael Kirby and John Howard say we are already a republic. They say we are a crowned republic.  Most serious observers expect the electorate to be strongly divided over the model. If the chosen model is the supposedly most popular one, the elected presidency, most politicians and many in the media will prefer our crowned republic.  A referendum must be about a model, which is something some republicans don’t understand. Our Founding Fathers wanted to make sure the people knew what they were voting for.  

Third, as with other polls, the results contain a large number of the undecided. Many do not want to disclose their intentions, or they are barely interested. Experience suggests most will vote against any politicians’ republic.   





...weakness of polls taken before a campaign....



In addition the poll has been taken well before the public knows what is being proposed. The problem is the republicans continue to keep their plans secret both about changes to the constitution and to the Flag. Or they don't have any.  

On the evidence, polling well before any referendum campaign must show very high levels of support for the referendum to have any chance. Once people see the details and hear each side, they will often change their initial approval to some vague proposition. Even on the higher UMR figures a referendum is already doomed.  This is even more apparent with the lower level of support indicated by the long term trend demonstrated under the last Newspoll. It is especially evident under Morgan, because this poll was based on the most popular model.   

The republican politicians know from their own polling that a referendum is doomed. So do the republican movement.

That is why they are pushing the taxpayer funded blank cheque plebiscite,  while keeping the details of change to the constitution and flag secret.  

 
Republicans confused Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 20 August 2009

“The latest opinion poll available to the republican movement shows 80% are in favour of Australian becoming a republic with its own elected head of state, whose role is symbolic and non-executive, similar to that of the Governor-General except that the powers, and responsibilities would be codified –written down for all to see-as it would also be for the first time for the Prime minister , to avoid a conflict when one or other claims to have a mandate, “ claims Brian Buckley of Wahroonga in a letter to the Sun-Herald of 16 August, 2009 (“Clashing Heads”). 

The 80% were not in favour of Australia becoming a republic. The question in the UMR online poll was “Suppose Australia did become a republic with a president as head of state, should the President be elected by the people or appointed by Parliament? “ .

In other words the question was about how the president should be chosen if, to repeat, if, we were a republic.

Image
[ Confusion of Tongues, Gustave Doré ]




....what the poll actually found....




The poll actually found 52% in favour of a vague republic, compared with the latest Morgan Poll and Newspoll at  45%. (Polls taken before a referendum campaign typically show much higher support than in the actual vote.)

On the basis of his complete misunderstanding of the poll, Mr. Buckley says “We in the republican movement ask the Prime Minister to give us this referendum this year, so as not to clash with the general election.

But at a recent Senate Inquiry, the republican movement said they fully supported a plebiscite to be held with the election.



....right of reply... 

   I sent this letter to The Sun-Herald: 

“Mr Brian Buckley (letters 16/9 )  is wrong to say the latest  UMR poll shows 80% in favour of a republic with a directly elected president. The question was about how the president should be chosen if we were already a republic.

“The poll found 52% support and not 80% for becoming some sort of republic. This compares with 45% in the last Newspoll. The latest Morgan Poll found 45% support for a republic with a directly elected president.

“Mr. Buckley says the republican movement wants a referendum this year to avoid a clash with the election. But the ARM leader told a Senate inquiry recently they supported a plebiscite to be held with the election.

“This is all rather confusing.”

 
Opinion polls: of limited use Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Opinion polls taken when a referendum is first announced invariably enjoy greater support than in the resulting vote. This is because by the time of the vote, there has been a debate. Both sides – and not just one – have been heard.

Image


This is true even where the mainstream media are seriously biased, as in 1999. (Incidentally, with the way our ACM web sites are being visited now, we can expect that by the time of any further vote, the media landscape will be much changed.)

The result is that after the debate the public are better informed.

Milton put it best when he said of truth “Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worst, in a free and open encounter?" (Areopagitica, 1644)



That is why ACM has launched the latest version of its longstanding education project, The Crowned Republic, www.crownedrepublic.com.au  We want to ensure that Australians, especially but not only the young and the new, are better informed on how they are governed.



...racist republics....


In Australia we are often told by the losing side in a constitutional referendum that their opponents manipulated the debate, the vote or the question. In the delightful Australian vernacular, they are called whingers.

The point is that a referendum in Australia is entirely different from a plebiscite as used in many countries. When the apartheid government asked South Africans to  vote on becoming a politicians’ republic in 1961, the details of that politicians’ republic were only revealed after the vote.

(They also disgracefully removed anyone who was not white from the roll. The government feared that the Cape Coloureds would want to keep the Crown. Republicanism was strongest among the racists, as it was in nineteenth century Australia.)



Opinion polls on matters on which the public are not informed are of little use. Imagine a poll on say the nexus between the two Houses of Parliament, that the Senate must be half the size of the House. Without a debate on this a vote in a poll would be of limited value.

This is especially true of constitutional plebiscites. In fact deceitful politicians like to take them precisely when the public have minimal information.


...poll on the Commonwealth...


This is all that can be said of a recent poll on the Commonwealth which concluded that only about one third of all Australians would be upset if the nation were to leave  the Commonwealth. 

Australians were found to be far less attached to their membership of the 53-member body than developing countries, including India, in a poll released by the Royal Commonwealth Society in London on Monday and reported in The Age and News Limited (20/7).

This probably reflects the standards of civics education in Australia today compared with that of, say, India.

The respondents in Australia, a sporting great power if ever there were one, must have been unaware of the role of the Commonwealth in sports. Or perhaps they forgot.



...everything depends on the question...




In a poll everything depends on the question.The respondents could have been asked:

“Do you want Australian athletes to continue to participate in and dominate those great games held every four years alternating with the Olympics? “

As I told ABC radio, if Australians were asked this, there would be a landslide in favour of remaining within the Commonwealth.

But even more importantly, the Commonwealth is the organization of countries with which we share common values, institutions, a legal system and a language. This is the one international organisation which has standards, which will apply real and effective sanctions against international delinquents, such as Zimbabwe.

That is why countries are lining up to join the Commonwealth. 
This is, after all, the international organisation which has been most effective in fighting for democratic government and the rule of law and against racism.



...Head of the Commonwealth...



Australians nominated Prince Charles as the person they wanted to see take over the Queen's Commonwealth role when she dies.
All other countries preferred having the role rotated among Commonwealth members.

This is another example of the weakness of polls and the fact that everything depends on the question, which is not the case with the Australian referendum.

The question probably was along these lines:

 “Should Prince Charles succeed The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth or should it rotate among Commonwealth leaders?”

This is misleading. It wrongly implies that Commonwealth leaders are also above politics.

It should have been:

“Should The Queen or her successor be Head of the Commonwealth, or should the position be rotated among Commonwealth politicians?”



The answer would have been obvious.No wonder some politicians who want to impose a politicians’ republic on Australians would prefer to start out with a plebiscite.     

 
More bad news for republicans Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 11 June 2009

Polling on a republic is done less often these days.  The suspicious say it is done just as often, but it’s just not published - the results are not good for republicans.  Nobody in the media would do that, would they?

David Pemberthy announced in The Daily Telegraph (9/5) that an online  poll on The Punch, the new e-line Murdoch newspaper, was running 50:50%. He said that if you added in older people who would not be reading online, the result would be a clear defeat for republicans. 

UMR recently released its polling, which has shown little change from its last poll.   UMR specialises in political research and campaigns, corporate reputation, personal image management, issues management and social marketing.  It has an impressive client list, including all state governments and the ALP. Its logo is our flag without the Union Flag, very much like the ALP’s.

Image
[ Democracy in Ancient Greece ]



...reservations about the UMR poll...
 



My reservations about this poll are threefold. First the survey was conducted on line. They clearly try to find a fair sample, but I suspect that online and telephone polling is not as good as face to face polling. Most pollsters do telephone polling, Morgan uses face to face.

 

The use of online polling produces a higher republican vote than other polls such as Morgan and Newspoll. The difference seems to be about 5 or 6 %.

 

My second reservation is that the question is far too vague and has little utility in indicating how people would vote in a a referendum. For the record the question was: “Do you support or oppose Australia becoming a republic? “      

 

Even the word republic is ambiguous.  Leaders as diverse as Justice Michael Kirby and John Howard say we are already a republic. They say we are a crowned republic.

Most serious observers expect the electorate to be strongly divided over the model. If the chosen model is the supposedly most popular one, the elected presidency, most politicians and many in the media will prefer  our crowned republic.  A referendum must be about a model, which is something some republicans don’t understand. Our founding Fathers wanted to make sure the people knew what they were voting for.


Third, as with other polls, the results contain a large number of the undecided. Many do not want to disclose their intentions, or they are barely interested. Experience suggests most will vote against any politicians’ republic.  

In addition the poll is has been taken well before the public knows what is being proposed. The republicans continue to keep their plans secret both about changes to the constitution and to the Flag.

 

On the evidence, polling well before any referendum campaign must show very high levels of support for the referendum to have any chance. Once people hear each side, they will often change their initial approval. On the higher UMR figures the referendum is already doomed.  This is even more apparent with the lower level of support  under the last Newspoll. It is especially evident under Morgan, because this poll was based on the most popular model. 

The republicans know a referendum is doomed. That is why they are pushing the blank cheque plebiscite.


Image
[ Hogarth: Chairing an elelction ]





....the time bomb waiting for the republicans...

 

The survey finds that support levels are highest amongst men, people in their “middle years” and Labor voters. Among the age groups the young (41%) and the old (45%) offer the weakest support for a republic. As we have said here, youth indifference to a republic is a time bomb for the republicans.

Minister Nicola Roxon once famously said: “No new monarchists are being born” and former Senator Susan Ryan said all the republicans would have to do was wait until the older generation leaves this world. 

Think again citizenesses!  Monarchists growing old is not that elusive silver bullet.



....reasons for a republic....



The survey relies on its 2008 research  for the principal four reasons for why people support “a” republic. These fall into four:

– It’s time to cut old ties to Great Britain
– Monarchy is an outdated concept
– There are little benefits to Australia from the current system
– Australia is strong and can stand alone in the world
– Indigenous Australians have been here before Britain



The reasons people oppose a republic are more diverse.....

– The current system is working, why should it be changed
– The change would be too expensive, and there are other things that should be fixed first
– The current system of Parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy is the bettersystem
– Unwanted consequences that a republic might have, mainly due to less control– The ties with Great Britain and the Commonwealth carry advantages for Australia that it would lose
– Heritage and tradition

Image
[ Even in war, Australian democracy functioned: voting in 1943 ]




....Do they really want a referendum?...




The next question was: “Do we want another referendum in the next term of parliament?” 

I would suggest this should have been:

“Millions of taxpayer funds have been put into votes and inquiries into a republic, both before and since the referendum in which the referendum was defeated nationally and in every state. Do you support about one fifth of a billion dollars being spent on another referendum in the next term of parliament?”

I regard that as very fair. It tells the respondent precisely and succinctly what has happened and what  will happen.

Any way 53% answered yes to the question.




....do they think it would succeed?...
  



 

 But only 37% thought the referendum would succeed and 39% think it would fail.  

 Republicans were optimistic that the referendum would succeed (59%) but monarchists were confident a republic will be defeated (69%) 

This clearly indicates that   monarchists are  better informed and more in touch than republicans.  Even the republican leadership agrees with the monarchists on this.



...who wants to elect the president....
  



 

Then respondents were asked this question . “Suppose Australia did become a republic with a president taking over the role of the  governor- general as head of state, should the president be elected by the people or appointed by the government?”

Note this is prefaced on Australia being a republic.  

 A huge majority of 81% would prefer a directly elected president over the parliament appointing a president.  It seems clear that the voters have not been tricked into thinking an elected president won’t be a politician. Voters may be saying that if Australia were a republic they would prefer a US style republic.

When asked who they would like to see as Australia’s first president,   Kevin Rudd ( 24%), Quentin Bryce ( 9%)  and John Howard ( 9%) were most often nominated.  

To repeat again, most politicians   oppose direct election, at least unless the President is made powerless. The media is divided. If such a model is proposed, republican Professor Greg Craven predicts it will go down to a bigger defeat than in 1999.

lling on a republic is done less often these days.  The suspicious say it is done just as often, but it’s just not published - the results are not good for republicans.  Nobody in the media would do that, would they?

David Pemberthy announced in The Daily Telegraph (9/5) that an online  poll on The Punch, the new e-line Murdoch newspaper, was running 50:50%. He said that if you added in older people who would not be reading online, the result would be a clear defeat for republicans.

The referendum is of course a wonderful way of testing constitutional change, a great gift from our Founding Fathers. Although disliked by many republicans, it is a wonderful example of democracy and of the proposition that in Australia, sovereignty is vested in the people.

 

 
 
NZ opinion poll indicates republic doomed Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Opinion polls on how we will vote at the next election will often be wrong. Things change, even in a few months. If  you were asked how you will vote at some indeterminate time in the future, say, two decades away, you might wonder what the pollster had been taking.

 

Suspecting that if a referendum were held now they would go down with a defeat even greater than the landslide in 1999, and unable or unwilling to tell us what they precisely they have in mind, republicans are banking on a referendum being held at the end of the reign and on how people will vote then.

 

They now admit that The Queen, whose 83rd birthday constitutional monarchists have just celebrated, is probably more respected and trusted than anyone else in public life. This fact eluded republicans in the nineties when Her Majesty was disparaged by some but not all of them. Apparently this fact was not so obvious in their inner city salons.


Image


 

 

We predicted at that time that once the sort of matrimonial problems that affect many families today had passed, Her Majesty and the Royal Family would grow in stature and prestige. That has happened.

When republicans put all their hopes in Prince Charles’ marriage being unpopular we predicted that once Camilla had emerged from the shadows, her qualities would be seen, the support of Prince William and Prince Harry duly noted, Prince Charles’ considerable and untiring contributions to the environment and the disadvantaged observed , support would return .  Having seen the enormous respect that Prince Charles is now held around the world, it can be said that this prediction has also come to pass.

 

So let us now make a prediction as to the future. When that sad day comes and this reign ends, the Commonwealth and the world will pass through a period of mourning during which the great virtues and the work of our Sovereign will be recorded with great respect. The curtain will have come down on an age which will be seen as remarkable, and one personified by our Queen – truly a second Elizabethan age.

The Prince of Wales will immediately ascend, and there will be no question that he will also become Head of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding idle speculation to the contrary. Within the twinkling of an eye he will be King of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the United Kingdom and his other Realms and territories. (In the United Kingdom he will also be “Defender of the Faith” and not “of Faiths”.)

 

There will be worldwide interest and fascination in the new Prince of Wales, presumably William, who by that time will be married and have children.

The monarchy will be once again at the height of its popularity.  The Australian Republican Movement, run from the inner city house of a retired academic, will immediately call for a vote on some unspecified republic. Even The Age, still published under the Royal Coat of Arms, will only pay luke warm interest to that.

The idea that a goverment would hold a referendum in the period of mourning or as the Coronation approached is not realistic. This is particularly so when it is likely that even two decades hence, the republicans will still not know what they want.



...the republicans will still not know what they want two decades away...



These thoughts came to me when I read that the Republican Movement of New Zeeland has just announced the results of an opinion poll they had commissioned about voting intentions in an unscheduled referendum at some indeterminate time in the future.

This is the sort of thing republicans do when they are unwilling to tell people what exactly they are proposing.  Or they engage in embarrassing stunts, such as the Australian Mate for a Head of State campaign.

At some no doubt inconvenient time, one thousand and eighteen unfortunate New Zealanders were telephoned by a pollster with the question as to whether at some indeterminate time in the distant future they would prefer “Prince Charles becoming King of New Zealand or New Zealand to becoming a republic?”

Some would have said anything to end the call, but were too polite to hang up. Many of course would have not answered or had their answering machines on.

Thirteen per cent wouldn’t say or didn’t know. Our experience is that they overwhelmingly vote No. Forty five per cent said Prince Charles. Forty three per cent said “a republic” without asking what sort of republic.  When they actually see the model, a good proportion would vote No.   

Australian experience also indicates that if there is not overwhelming support early in the piece, a referendum is doomed. Even with strong early support, this falls away after people have heard the arguments. But this poll did not have strong support. The level of support was increased artificially by the vagueness of the question which offered " a republic".

Having so significantly lost this poll, the wonder is that the republicans published it.  The All Blacks will still be performing the Haka for their Sovereign in the reigns to come.

  
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Results 82 - 90 of 105
ROYAL VISIT 2014

Image

The Book Depository
Image
Image
Prince William: The Early Years
Prince Charles

Prince Charles

Constitutional Monarchies & Republics Compared

Image


Defend the Constitution and Flag
Australian Election Watch

10th Anniversary Neville Bonner Oration

11th Anniversary and Appeal

Crowned Republic 

   Keep The Australian Flag
Return the Governor to Government House
The Succession
The Succession
The Governor of New South Wales
Governor of New South Wales
Fiji
Fijian soldier
Media and Monarchy
Media and Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
Royal Yacht Britannia
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Events
October 2017 November 2017 December 2017
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
Week 44 1 2 3 4
Week 45 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Week 46 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Week 47 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Week 48 26 27 28 29 30